When you’re selling your home you go all out to ensure it’s looking its best and that your fellow residents are either out of the picture or on their best behaviour.
But it’s not quite the same with rental properties, when tenants may not have the same priorities as their landlord, whether they are trying to sell or let their property.
Propertymark, the estate agents’ trade organisation, has shared the weirdest goings on at property viewings and Moneywise has picked out our five favourites:
1) One potential tenant met ‘strange Chloe’ when they were being shown around the flat by its landlord. It was a rather creepy introduction, as Chloe’s hand emerged from underneath the bed, beckoning the potential tenant to join her. ‘Not again, Chloe!’ exclaimed the landlord.
2) It’s not that odd to come across a dog or cat on a property viewing, maybe even a hamster or house-trained rabbit. However, a group of students viewing a property in Leeds were scared senseless when a giant bat like creature called a sugar glider swooped down upon them. They didn’t hang around to see the rest of the pad.
3) Landlords should always brief current tenants to stay on topic if asked questions during a viewing. One couple got a lecture about psychic phenomena and telepathic communication. All they wanted to know about were the local schools.
4) Estate agents always advise sellers to ‘depersonalise’ their properties before they attempt to sell. A few family photos aren’t going to be a major problem but naked oil paintings of the owner on every wall in every room might be.
5) Viewers also don’t expect to find life-sized mannequins standing next to the toilet in the bathroom. Probably best to stick them under the bed or in the cupboard under the stairs.
‘Bizarre experiences are amusing but avoidable’
Commenting on these strange but true stories, Mark Hayward, Chief Executive, NAEA Propertymark says: “House viewings ultimately determine whether somebody wants to buy or rent a property, so they need to be able to feel like it could be their home. We hear bizarre experiences from potential buyers and renters all the time – and while they’re amusing, they’re easily avoidable. Little things like making sure pets are under control, existing tenants or owners are prepared for the viewing and the property is looking clean and presentable will help viewers to see the property for what it is, without all the weird add-ons.”